2014 ALA Las Vegas – RESOLUTION ON PRESERVING PUBLIC ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL REPORTS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE

The most recent resolution for ALA Annual 2014.  There is already some discussion that as NTIS has a cost-recovery model there is a strong likelyhood that the “free-of-charge” aspect will be withdrawn from this resolution before we even see it on the floor in Council.

Rob Banks, ALA Councilor

 

This resolution is from the GODORT Legislation Committee. It is likely to be part of the Committee on Legislation report.

RESOLUTION ON PRESERVING PUBLIC ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL REPORTS AVAILABLE

THROUGH THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE

Whereas some three million scientific and technical reports are held by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), thereby promoting research, innovation, and business;

Whereas since 1940, NTIS has been co-operating with federal agencies to collect, preserve, catalog, and provide their reports in paper, microform, and digital formats;

Whereas many federal agencies choose not to maintain collections of their own reports and to depend upon NTIS to provide these reports;

Whereas many federal agencies do not have statutory responsibility or the resources to provide permanent access to these reports and depend upon NTIS to provide them to other government agencies and the public;

Whereas the process of federal agencies entrusting their reports to NTIS ensures permanent access to the public, eliminates duplication of effort, and saves tax dollars;

Whereas since many of the federal agencies that published these reports no longer exist, many of their reports are only available through NTIS;

Whereas over two million of these reports are held only in paper or microform by NTIS and are not available in digital form from any source;

Whereas NTIS has the statutory authority to provide information management services to other federal agencies, including such programs as the Social Security Administration Death Master File used by insurance and annuity companies and the Drug Enforcement Agency Controlled Substances Registrants Data Base, which enables members of the medical community to prescribe and handle controlled substances, and the Federal Science Repository Service which supports the preservation and long-term access of participating agencies content;

Whereas the “Let Me Google That For You Act” ( S. 2206 and H. R. 4382) would abolish NTIS, and the “Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act” (H. R. 4186), as amended in the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, would repeal the law that authorizes NTIS;

Whereas these bills make no provision for the preservation of the reports and their cataloging data;

Whereas these bills do not provide libraries such as the Library of Congress, the national libraries, and libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program an opportunity to help “determine if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”; and

Whereas the American Library Association has long supported the provision of all federal government reports and publications, at no charge, to the public through libraries and other services; now, therefore be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA)

1.       urges the United States Congress to appropriate funds to ensure that the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) continues to act as a central repository for scientific and technical reports and is able to provide these reports to federal agencies and the public at no charge;

2.       urges the United States Congress to consult with librarians at the Library of Congress, the national libraries, corporate libraries, and the federal depository library program in determining “if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”;

3.       urges the United States Congress to put NTIS under the umbrella of the Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP) directive, “increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” (February 22, 2013); and

4.       urges the United States Congress to fund a digital preservation plan for scientific and technical reports, which would be developed by NTIS, CENDI, the Government Printing Office, the National Archives, federal publishing agencies, and the library community;

draft, 6-20-14

Whereas some three million scientific and technical reports are held by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), thereby promoting research, innovation, and business;

Whereas since 1940, NTIS has been co-operating with federal agencies to collect, preserve, catalog, and provide their reports in paper, microform, and digital formats;

Whereas many federal agencies choose not to maintain collections of their own reports and to depend upon NTIS to provide these reports;

Whereas many federal agencies do not have statutory responsibility or the resources to provide permanent access to these reports and depend upon NTIS to provide them to other government agencies and the public;

Whereas the process of federal agencies entrusting their reports to NTIS ensures permanent access to the public, eliminates duplication of effort, and saves tax dollars;

Whereas since many of the federal agencies that published these reports no longer exist, many of their reports are only available through NTIS;

Whereas over two million of these reports are held only in paper or microform by NTIS and are not available in digital form from any source;

Whereas NTIS has the statutory authority to provide information management services to other federal agencies, including such programs as the Social Security Administration Death Master File used by insurance and annuity companies and the Drug Enforcement Agency Controlled Substances Registrants Data Base, which enables members of the medical community to prescribe and handle controlled substances, and the Federal Science Repository Service which supports the preservation and long-term access of participating agencies content;

Whereas the “Let Me Google That For You Act” ( S. 2206 and H. R. 4382) would abolish NTIS, and the “Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act” (H. R. 4186), as amended in the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, would repeal the law that authorizes NTIS;

Whereas these bills make no provision for the preservation of the reports and their cataloging data;

Whereas these bills do not provide libraries such as the Library of Congress, the national libraries, and libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program an opportunity to help “determine if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”; and

Whereas the American Library Association has long supported the provision of all federal government reports and publications, at no charge, to the public through libraries and other services; now, therefore be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA)

1.       urges the United States Congress to appropriate funds to ensure that the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) continues to act as a central repository for scientific and technical reports and is able to provide these reports to federal agencies and the public at no charge;

2.       urges the United States Congress to consult with librarians at the Library of Congress, the national libraries, corporate libraries, and the federal depository library program in determining “if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”;

3.       urges the United States Congress to put NTIS under the umbrella of the Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP) directive, “increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” (February 22, 2013); and

4.       urges the United States Congress to fund a digital preservation plan for scientific and technical reports, which would be developed by NTIS, CENDI, the Government Printing Office, the National Archives, federal publishing agencies, and the library community;

draft, 6-20-14

Resolution on Granting the District of Columbia Government Budget Autonomy Allowing City Services, Including Libraries, to Remain Open During a Federal Government Shutdown

Resolution on Granting the District of Columbia Government Budget Autonomy Allowing City Services, Including Libraries, to Remain Open During a Federal Government Shutdown

Whereas while Congress and the President could not come to terms on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government during the beginning of fiscal year 2014, the District of Columbia (D.C.) had passed its budget for that year,

Whereas currently, D.C.’s government is unable to spend local tax revenue without authorization from Congress,

Whereas if not for the actions of Mayor Vincent Gray, who took the unprecedented step to declare all D.C. government employees to be essential, D.C.’s nearly 700,000 residents would have been subject to a government shutdowncoinciding with the federal government shutdownthereby depriving them of:

  1. access to the 26 public library branches throughout the city,
  2. access to the 90 meeting and study rooms in those branches,
  3. library services to patrons with disabilities including:

i.

ii. iii.

80,000 titles from the D.C. Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped,
the annual D.C. Mayoral Disability Services Exposition,
the annual Accessibility Camp

  1. resources from the library’s adult literacy division including,
    1. GED tutoring
    2. English language conversation circles for ESL learners
  2. the library’s early childhood literacy campaign,
  3. access to the drop in jobs seekers clinics for D.C. residents seeking employment,
  4. homework help from Tudor.com,

Resolved:

I. The American Library Association recognizes the District of Columbia’s budget as separate from the federal government’s and calls on the Congress and the President to:

A. Grant the District of Columbia budget autonomy thereby,
i. Preventing the unnecessary closer of public libraries in the event of a federal government shutdown which would allow,
ii. District of Columbia residents much needed access services the DC Public Library provides.

II. Commends the administration of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray who used the city’s reserve fund to keep the government and libraries open to D.C. residents.
III. Recognizes the hard work of all D.C. Public Library staff members who steadfastly served their community during the uncertain times of October 2013.

ALA 2012 Anaheim

Council I

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nominations for the Committee on Committees and for the Planning and Budget Assembly were presented.

Keith Michael Fiels reported on actions since Midwinter.

Council conducted a self-assessment. The results were discussed by Maureen Sullivan.

We broke into small groups to brainstorm ideas of how to move the Council forward to improve our work and effectiveness.

We heard a report from Sari Feldman, and Robert Wolven about the Digitan Content & Libraries Working Group.

Whereas voting is an essential citizenship right;

Whereas past attempts to restrict voting have included poll taxes and literacy tests;

Whereas the 2008 national elections were the most racially diverse in American history, helping to close the longstanding gap between whites and voters of color;

Whereas voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, purging of voter rolls, and cuts to early voting are the latest tactics for suppression of voting by historically disenfranchised groups, including people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities;

Whereas up to 11% of Americans lack government-issued IDs, and up to 7% lack official documents proving their citizenship;

Whereas proponents of voter suppression laws have failed to show that voter fraud is a problem anywhere in the country, and that voter fraud is exceedingly rare; and

Whereas voter suppression laws have been passed by 15 states, and are pending in 5 more states (and passed but revoked in Maine); now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA):

1. opposes voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, cuts to early voting, and any other laws resulting in the restriction of lawful access to voting; and
 
2. encourages libraries and librarians to provide information to citizens to mitigate these restrictions should they remain in effect on Election Day.
 
Mover: Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor, 217-819-9975

Seconder: Mary Biblo, Councilor at Large

 I voted for this and it passed.

 Resolution in Support of Whistleblower Bradley Manning

Whereas in May 2010 Pfc. Bradley Manning of the U.S. Army was arrested for
allegedly leaking classified materials to the anti-secrecy website, WikiLeaks;
 
Whereas for these alleged actions Bradley Manning now faces numerous charges,
including aiding the enemy by indirect means,” punishable by the death penalty or life in prison;
 
Whereas the materials Bradley Manning is charged with releasing contained important
revelations related to U.S. foreign and military policy, including the fact that the U.S. military withheld important information about the killing of journalists and innocent civilians in Iraq; the fact that, contrary to assertions by both the Bush and Obama administrations, there is an official tally of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan; the fact that it was official U.S. policy to ignore torture in Iraq; the fact that U.S. civilian contractors were complicit in child trafficking activities in Afghanistan; the fact that known Egyptian torturers have received training from the FBI in Quantico, Virginia; and the fact that the State Department authorized the theft of the UN Secretary General’s DNA;
 
Whereas Daniel Ellsberg has compared the actions of which Manning is accused to
the release of the Pentagon Papers;
 
Whereas the American Library Association has strongly supported the principle of
​government accountability and the protection of whistleblowers;
 
Whereas Bradley Manning was detained for eight months on the Quantico Marine
Corps Base under conditions described by Amnesty International as “unnecessarily severe” and “inhumane”, denounced by more than 300 legal scholars in the United States as “a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against punishment without trial”, and characterized by the United Nations special rapporteur on torture as  “cruel, inhuman, and degrading”; and
 
Whereas public statements by both President Obama and by Martin Dempsey, the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that Manning broke the law may have prejudiced his right to a fair trial; now, therefore, be it
 
Resolved, that the American Library Association calls upon the Secretary of the Army
and the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army to release Pfc. Bradley Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him.
 
Mover: Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor, 217-819-9975
Seconder: Mike Marlin, Councilor at-large, 916-243-9778
 
​2011-2012 ALA CD#43
​2012 ALA Annual Conference

I voted against this and it failed.
 
 
RESOLUTION ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND WIKILEAKS
Whereas WikiLeaks is a non-profit organization that publishes submissions of secret document ​from anonymous sources and news leaks;
Whereas WikiLeaks has made available thousands of critical documents concerning United
​States foreign and military policy;
 
Whereas WikiLeaks is performing a vital watchdog role by expanding citizens’ knowledge on
matters of vital public concern, following in the steps of the newspapers that published the Pentagon Papers, courageously supplied by Daniel Ellsberg;
 
Whereas Support for WikiLeaks should be a concern for all those who believe in the right to
know and intellectual freedom, and most especially librarians;
 
Whereas WikiLeaks is under tremendous pressure from many governments, elected officials,
​and prominent personalities to stop publishing leaked documents; and
 
Whereas the American Library Association has signed a joint letter with many other
organizations asking the United States government to reverse its order to US government agencies blocking access to WikiLeaks, in support of publishers’ and citizens’ first amendment rights, and against the possible application of the Espionage Act against WikiLeaks; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA):
1.​supports the rights of WikiLeaks to publish leaked government documents;
2.​commends the efforts of WikiLeaks to expunge from documents names and other material deemed potentially harmful to innocent people;
3.​commends WikiLeaks for performing a public service by making available important documents related to foreign and military policy;
4.​recommends that libraries consider linking their websites to the WikiLeaks website where appropriate; and
5.​condemns any harassment of WikiLeaks.
Mover: Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor, 217-819-9975
Seconder: Mike Marlin, Councilor at-large, 916-243-9778
 
I voted against this and it failed.

Registration

16,404 attendees

19,826 New Orleans

25444 Washington, DC
 
We adjourned.